Dear Deans and Directors:
Thanks to each one of you for your efforts to be prepared in the event we must pivot to digital learning mode. We are attaching a helpful summary from our IT colleagues that we are asking you to share with your faculty and staff tomorrow. This is a “get started quickly” list. Some of you suggested it would be helpful to support faculty in doing a “test drive” of the technology. It is suggested that all faculty try it this week so as to debrief any issues with your students while still in a face-to-face environment.
The Academic Technology group recommends that you try these strategies this week:
1. Go to https://info.unmc.edu/it/students/index.html. Identify the Canvas, Zoom, Echo360 ALP, and Microsoft 365 logins. These will be your core systems if UNMC pivots to digital learning mode, in addition to email.
Canvas is a learning management system that organizes/delivers course content, provides an avenue for assignment submission and online discussions, and offers a gradebook for returning feedback.
Zoom is a video conferencing tool for you to meet “live” with students or hold virtual office hours from your computer/laptop. You can also “broadcast” out of https://info.unmc.edu/it/services/video/zoom/index.html. Zoom meetings can be live and/or locally recorded and uploaded to Echo360 ALP for students to watch.
Echo360 Active Learning Platform (ALP) is a video content management system where you can easily record videos. You can record yourself speaking with or without sharing your screen. Many instructors elect to show themselves and a PowerPoint presentation while they narrate the slides as they would in the traditional classroom.
Office 365 provides a single location to manage, secure and share files. Get your materials/files pulled into a space where you can access remotely. If you typically store your instructional notes, presentation slides, etc. on your office computer, Microsoft 365 provides a secure location for virtual storage that can be accessed from any machine.
2. Log into Canvas. Load some course materials – your syllabus, minimally. When you have your typical in-class meeting this week, pull up Canvas in your classroom and show your students what they can expect from you within the system (grades, assignments, when you plan to post, which features you intend to use). Publish the Canvas course as is and let students know you’ll be regularly adding new material. Contact Academic Technologies if you login into Canvas and your course does NOT have a course shell available.
3. Run a Canvas quiz this week, even if it’s only a couple questions and doesn’t count for a grade. This is an opportunity for you and the students to practice using this function and talk about any issues they encounter the next time you meet face-to-face.
4. Run a Canvas discussion board this week. Give students a chance to familiarize themselves with a virtual discussion and your expectations therein.
5. Try a live Zoom meeting with your students this week. Create a meeting, share the meeting link with students through email or Canvas, and ask your students to join you for a quick virtual meeting this week so you can see who has issues and what the issues are.
6. Create an Echo360 ALP Universal Capture In Echo360 ALP Universal Capture, you can record yourself and/or your screen and whatever is on it – for example, a PowerPoint presentation you are flipping through and discussing. You’ll create a link that you can then put in Canvas to share with students. Utilize the Echo360 ALP caption and transcription function for increased accessibility.
Other things to have at your finger tips:
- The IT group created this getting started guide to help choose which option(s) best meet your needs and goals.
- The Canvas Community is a rich “how to” guide that provides easy-to-use, step-by-step instructions for how to use every feature within Canvas. Similar to performing a Google search, but specific to Canvas.
- Please maintain current class schedules. If you move to online and are wanting to do things “live” or “broadcast” with your students, do it at the same time your course was scheduled so as to not create other issues for students who work, etc. If you are not “live” or “broadcast”, give your students a few days or a week to get through course materials that you post, just as your in-person course cadence would operate.
- Store this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a team of UNMC-based IT staff that will quickly give you a call, share a screen with you, meet with you, or do whatever we can to help you with questions you may have about teaching with technology. We’re also located in Business Service Center. You are not doing this alone – we’re here to support you every step of the way!
- You and your students have 24x7x365 technical support through Canvas by clicking the “help” button in the lower left corner of the system.
- The keepteaching.unmc.edu web resource lists a robust array of strategies that can be employed as you teach online.
- The site https://www.unmc.edu/coronavirus/ will have general campus updates.
Academic Technologies will be available for drop-in consultation sessions to assist you in the conversion process to a digital learning modality:
PHYSICAL LOCATION: Michael F. Sorrell Center for , Commons area (look for the IT sign)
ONLINE ZOOM SESSION: https://unmc.zoom.us/s/866829870
Monday, March 9, 2020 @ 10:00-11:00 a.m. and 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 @ 8:00-9:00 a.m. and 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 @11:00 a.m. – Noon
Thursday, March 12, 2020 @ 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. and 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Friday, March 13, 2020 @ 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Monday, March 16, 2020 @2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 19, 2020 @1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
In addition to the drop-in consultation sessions, contact Academic Technologies via email to schedule a consultation session.
While we are still in normal operations mode, we hope these proactive steps will help faculty and students sort through the initial learning curve while everyone can readily debrief issues that arise.
Thank you for all you do to support UNMC students,
Melissa Diers, M.Ed.
Interim Director of Academic Technology
Dele Davies, MD, MS, MHCM
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Jeffrey Gold, MD